Google reportedly cancelled a cloud project meant for countries including China – TechCrunch

After reportedly spending a year and a half working on a cloud service meant for China and other countries, Google cancelled the project, called “Isolated Region,” in May due partly to geopolitical and pandemic-related concerns. Bloomberg reports that Isolated Region, shut down in May, would have enabled it to offer cloud services in countries that want to keep and control data within their borders.

According to two Google employees who spoke to Bloomberg, the project was part of a larger initiative called “Sharded Google” to create data and processing infrastructure that is completely separate from the rest of the company’s network. Isolated Region began in early 2018 in response to Chinese regulations that mean foreign tech companies that want to enter the country need to form a joint venture with a local company that would hold control over user data. Isolated Region was meant to help meet requirements like this

Read more

Why the Apache Lucene and Solr “divorce” is better for developers and users

Commentary: A decade ago Apache Lucene and Apache Solr merged to improve both projects. The projects recently split for the same reason, which is a really good thing for users of search services.

Image: photo_Pawel, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Must-read developer content

It’s very possible that you rely on Apache Lucene and Apache Solr every day, whether you’re looking for jobs on LinkedIn, trying to find that “bird-carries-shark” video on Twitter, or looking up random facts on Wikipedia. It’s also very possible that you have no clue how Lucene/Solr work, or how they’re developed. As such, you can be forgiven for not noticing that a few weeks back the Lucene/Solr community voted to break up, breaking Solr out from under Lucene and reversing the merger of the two a decade earlier, which you also likely missed. 

And yet the designation of Solr as a top-level Apache Software Foundation project matters,

Read more

Microsoft announces new Azure AI capabilities for apps, healthcare, and more

The latest announcements will help companies enhance their voice-enabled application experiences and provide critical data management across healthcare industries.

Image: Sompong Rattanakunchon / Getty Images

In the era of digital transformation, more organizations across industries are looking to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance day-to-day operations. In recent weeks, a number of organizations have tapped AI to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. These applications range from using AI systems to monitor social distancing and contact tracing to identifying potential treatments for COVID-19. Earlier today, Microsoft announced a series of updates to the Azure AI system to help with everything from enhanced healthcare data management to leveraging the latest voice-enabled technologies for enhanced customer engagement experiences.

More about artificial intelligence

Text Analytics

In partnership with the Allen Institute of AI and other research groups, Microsoft developed the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset. Utilizing nearly 50,000 scholarly articles, the

Read more

Facebook’s Oversight Board won’t launch until ‘late fall’ – TechCrunch

Facebook has announced that the limp “Oversight Board” intended to help make difficult content and policy decisions will not launch until “late fall,” which is to say, almost certainly after the election. You know, the election everyone is worried Facebook’s inability to police itself will serious affect.

On Twitter, the board explained that as much as it would like to “officially begin our task of providing independent oversight of Facebook’s content decisions,” it regrets that it will be unable to do so for some time. “Our focus is on building a strong institution that will deliver concrete results over the long term.”

That sounds well enough, but for many, the entire point of creating the oversight board — which has been in the offing since late 2018 — was to equip Facebook for the coming Presidential election, which promises to be something of a hot one.

As my colleague Natasha

Read more

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020 virtual event confirmed for August 5th

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020 will be be held online, in an all-digital version, on August 5.

Image: Samsung

Samsung will host its Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event in an all-digital livestream this year.

On Tuesday evening, Samsung announced that Galaxy Unpacked 2020 will be held via livestream at at 10 am ET on August 5, when new Galaxy devices will be unveiled.

Samsung traditionally holds two Unpacked events each year, with one event in February and one in August. The February event is typically when phones in its Galaxy S line are revealed. 

This year, on February 11, Samsung announced the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra phones, all with built-in 5G. As Lance Whitney reported in TechRepublic, all three Samsung models come with built-in 5G, an Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display, and a Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 processor, but each has different display sizes and different camera specs.


Read more

Facial recognition market to surpass $12 billion by 2026

To enhance tracking and security in public spaces, the facial recognition technologies market is expected to surge in the years ahead.

IMAGE: iStock/primipil

In the era of digital transformation, more organizations are utilizing facial recognition technologies for a host of applications in public spaces. These systems have also been implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as the technologies can be plugged into larger surveillance networks to monitor mask compliance and more. Studies have shown that facial recognition systems are prone to false-positive identifications. In recent weeks, major players in the tech industry including IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon recently made waves by pulling their facial recognition systems from the market altogether or banning law enforcement agencies from using the technologies. Despite these moves by titans in tech, the future of facial recognition systems seems bright according to a new report from Global Market Insights.

By 2026, the organization

Read more